U.S. Military Service Branches

The U.S. Military consists of five active-duty service branches and their respective Guard and Reserve units. Together, they offer a broad variety of ways to serve. Learn more at

Coast Guard Academy

The Coast Guard Academy is an academically rigorous, highly selective four-year military service academy leading to a bachelor’s degree and a commission in the United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard Academy is the smallest of the five Federal Service Academies. As such, cadets receive individual attention from the faculty. As well, on graduation there is greater access to graduate school and flight training. Tuition, room, board and a stipend are paid for by the Department of Homeland Security. Following graduation, newly commissioned ensigns have a five year obligation to serve, although 4 out of 5 opt to serve longer due to job satisfaction. This is in part to the varied humanitarian, regulatory, environmental and border security missions the Coast Guard carries out.

For dates related to the application process, visit Since the application process is lengthy, interested students should plan accordingly. Unlike the other Federal Service Academies, the United States Coast Guard Academy does not require a congressional nomination.

For students interested in visiting the US Coast Guard Academy, there are several options, including campus tours or staying on campus with a cadet. Please note that the overnight programs fill fast. (See below for details about summer program.)

For information on all the programs for accession to the Coast Guard, both enlistment and commissioning, go to For information about admissions, call the Coast Guard Academy Admissions office at (800) 883-8724. For assistance or advisement, contact Dale Campbell, Academy Admissions Partner, at